Scarlott Letters

Just some stuff I find funny…

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The good, the bad and the ugly…

Joe has a new 18-year old in his life that takes him to new heights of enlightenment. Her name is Glenlivet. He and Dave stayed up and solved the problems of the world with that sweet young thing after everyone else had long gone to bed.

I’m accustomed to places that offer a toaster, bagels and one of those dispensers where you can get Fruit Loops for breakfast. This morning we had goat cheese frittatas, ham, toast and fresh fruit. Wonderful!

Afterwards we met Captain Carl and took off for a full day on the boat. Our first stop was the Indians where Joe snorkeled for the first time. The ride over nearly beat us to death. I just closed my eyes and held on for dear life.

After the Indians, we headed to Willy T’s which is a floating bar. It’s a double decker and its claim to fame is diving off the top nude. If you read last year’s blog you know that Tres will do anything for a free tee shirt. Unfortunately, they forgot to mention that they no longer give out free tee shirts for naked diving…psych! Four out of five of our men are certifiable and dove off sans clothes…one even went twice. It happened so fast, it was just a blur. Luckily, Julia’s got the whole thing on video. The fact that one of the guys is sane actually works to everyone’s benefit by giving every guy plausible deniability. The women also got crazy. Gina got a personalized tattoo from the bartender and Kirk did a body shot off of Julie as a bachelorette party kind of thing. This whole scenario is not something I ever anticipated but it was like a car wreck…I just couldn’t look away. I don’t know, but I think the whole man-thong thing might be kind of a let down at this point.

Our next stop was Green Kay. White sandy beaches and turquoise water. We almost got close enough to walk in from the boat…but not quite. Joe and Gina towed my ass in to shore…kind of like a tugboat and barge, me being the barge. It’s always further away than it looks. I think Captain Carl was a little concerned when he discovered that I don’t swim. I wonder what gave it away.

The best stop of the day was the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke. It’s one of the most famous bars in the world. There are no docks so you have to swim in…yippee!They hang the “soggy dollars” on a clothesline above the bar to dry out. They also make great painkillers. Joe looks at the webcam online almost every day of the year so he was in heaven. After the Soggy Dollar we went around the bend, figuratively and literally, to Foxy’s for dinner, which was great. Afterwards, we took off for the house, after dark, at breakneck speed. Kudos to Captain Carl for getting us back in one piece, fully clothed.






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That of which we shall not speak…

The day started early for Kirk, Julie, Tres and Julia. They met the wedding coordinator this morning and took off for Road Town early to get their marriage license. You have to be in the BVI three days before you can get married, so time is of the essence, especially since Friday is a national holiday for Will and Kate’s little shindig. Our wedding will be no less royal and a lot more fun. They are just a warm up act for us.

If we thought the house was great last night, it is spectacular in the daylight. I’ll only be posting a few photos on the blog each day, but I will set up a link to a Flickr album if you are interested in seeing more. Dave broke the morning alcohol barrier by having his first bloody mary of the day at 8:45. Last year, we tried to wait a respectable amount of time to start drinking and that time seemed to move up a little each day. Apparently, we have no pretenses this time around and anyone who wants can just start at daybreak.

Gloria is the caretaker here and cooks breakfast for us each morning. We had more of a brunch/lunch and it was fabulous. We had fresh fruits, including mango, kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple and oranges, along with scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, orange juice and coffee. I could seriously get used to this!

Our first discussion at breakfast/lunch involved new and creative ways to make this trip a tax deduction. We are setting up a 501(3)(c) called the BVI (Better Voting Initiative) Fund. Our annual board meeting will be held in April in Tortola. I am now accepting checks, money orders or cash and will happily send you a receipt for your charitable donation.

Our second discussion involved coffee. If you’re tired of talking about coffee, just bear with me a second here. Dave swears the most expensive coffee in the world comes from Indonesia and is harvested from the droppings of wildcats that eat the beans. It is the coffee that Jack Nicholson is looking for in The Bucket List. My first reaction was “you’ve got to be kidding”…my second was “those have to be some hyped-up f’en wildcats!”

After the wedding group got back from license-getting, we somehow all ended up in the pool for, oh I don’t know, five or six hours. My toes and fingers have never been so wrinkled up, but I know what they’ll look like when I’m 95. We had an extended discussion about different non-profit corporations we could form. In fact, we elected officers. Tres was sleeping by the pool, so naturally he was elected President. Joe will be Treasurer and I’ll be secretary. The conversation nosedived from there and would be banned in most of the civilized world…not fit for the prison yard, much less polite society. Early in the conversation, Joe said that there was “that of which we shall not speak but that we all know to be true.” These things usually revolve around the trifecta of money, sex and alcohol, and apparently, we can speak of them. You know there’s not much that’s tabu in Sherreeland but this crossed the line even for me. This is one of those times it’s just best you don’t know, trust me on this. It was funny, just not printable.

We grossly underestimated the alcohol consumption. When we ordered 6 cases of beer, I just didn’t realized that would be a one day supply. We also drank margaritas, cranberry vodka, and painkillers. Lest you think all we do is drink, for dinner we had coffee-crusted tenderloin filets, oven roasted potatoes and broccoli for dinner and it was fabulous!

On a technical note, the iPad is a wondrous piece of machinery (go Steve Jobs) but the WordPress app leaves a lot to be desired. I won’t bore you with the technicalities but it is a laborious process to get pictures sprinkled throughout the blog, so from this point on they will be at the end where the app wants them. WordPress app 1, Sherree’ 0. I don’t want to be stressed out on my vacation.

I’ll leave you with this, apparently we will do anything as well as speak of anything because somehow the guys all ended up in the pool without their swim trunks…followed by the women high-fiving and making a pact that under no conditions would be do likewise.Tomorrow is a full day of boating, so stayed tuned.







At all costs, protect the meat

I figure the fact that we left Wichita Falls about 15 minutes later than planned actually put us about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. We stopped after about 75 miles to stretch our legs and get a bite to eat. Mickey D’s in Decatur might be new and shiny but the service is not. There were at least six teenage boys working, and I use that term loosely, and it seemed beyond them to make a cup of coffee. I ordered a plain latte, plain ‘ole milk and espresso. Seemed simple enough. What I got was super sweet, the temperature of tap water and took four people and 20 minutes to make. I threw it in the garbage on my way out the door. Never go to McDonalds for what you should get at Starbucks. Lesson learned. As for stopping in the first place, I am traveling with wimps. When driving, I stop when I reach my destination or run out of gas, whichever comes first. I have a bladder of steel. When I take my dog Cash with me on the four-hour drive to Midland, I even make him hold it. I assume we are already on island time.

We got to bed at about 11:00, which gave us approximately three hours to sleep. Unfortunately, my iPhone sent me a reminder at midnight that I had an appointment in the BVI. #+*?!,^~>%!!! On the plus side, I set a land speed record for taking a shower. It’s amazing that all ten of us took showers and were ready to go at 3:00 a.m. I felt a little sorry for the shuttle driver because we had a total of 20 suitcases, most of them very close to the 50 pound limit. In fact, five suitcases are filled with nothing but books. We are pack mules for a good cause. There are very few children’s books in the BVI and Julia’s church collected books that we are taking to a liaison in Tortola. Wonder if we can write off this entire trip as charity on our tax return next year. Joe says to itemize it. Conversation during an audit would go something like this… IRS: What about this $900 bar tab at a place called the Soggy Dollar? Joe: You have to realize that booze is actually cheaper than water over there.

We got to the airport the requisite two hours in advance at 3:45. This would have been fine except for the fact the ticket agents didn’t arrive until 4:00 and security did not open until 4:30. And apparently, my coffee troubles did not end with McDonalds last night. This does not bode well. Starbucks did not open until 5:00. At least they were supposed to open at 5:00 but inexplicably did not open until 5:15…when were were due to be boarding the plane. We finally walked off, approximately a nanosecond before they took their first order, which would have been us. Arrrg! Never go to Starbucks for what you can get at McDonalds. Lesson learned…again. The coffee on the plane was not nearly as good…I want a decent latte, dammit…but at least it was caffeinated.

While we we waiting in line at Starbucks, Tres was the lucky recipient of a prostate exam from his friendly TSA agent. He must of had that shifty look about him or his reputation proceeded him. There is a hilarious story concerning Tres and airport security from a couple of years ago, but the re-telling might involve being banned from air travel for life or incarceration and I wouldn’t want to get him in trouble, but it’s legendary.

On the bright side, my coffee woes took a decided turn for the better. Twenty-five years ago I had the best cup of coffee of my life at the Marriott in downtown Atlanta…until today at the Miami airport. There was a little sandwich shop next to our gate that served Douwer Egbert’s brand coffee. I know, I’d never heard of it either. It would be a travesty to doctor it up as a latte…it’s that good. I figure that cutting out the latte portion of my daily cup will save me thousands and thousands of calories per year. I will most likely be a size two bikini-worthy babe by this time next year! I will also have a shipment of it waiting for me by the time I get home. I can hear some of you saying, “Enough of the coffee talk already!” Point taken. We are moving into the cocktail hour(s) now anyway.

We had a three hour layover in San Juan and we took full advantage at the bar (and a $280 tab later) and the duty-free liquor store where we each had our assigned grocery list. We finally made it to Tortola. The important thing is that the 50 pounds of suitcase meat made it’s way through customs without being confiscated. We had a whole elaborate plan to sneak it in, but fortunately we didn’t need to resort to bribes. It was important that we protect the meat at all costs because it is priceless out here. Oddly, the guys all agreed.

The airport is on the east end of the island and Frenchman’s Lookout is on the west. It’s about a 40 minute drive on narrow winding streets and the idiots drive on the wrong side of the road. I saw my life flash before my eyes several times. I don’t think I’m cut out to drive here…or ride except with my eyes closed.

The property is absolutely fabulous! There are views of water 300 degrees around the house and the two story veranda wraps all the way around. Before the trip, Joe said that he didn’t think there was any way the place could be better than last year, but he officially stands corrected.

As I finish for the day, some of the guys are smoking a cigar out on the patio by the pool. Eddie jumped in the pool declaring his nipples are hard and Kirk is planning his bachelor party since he and Julie are getting married on Saturday. There’s been talk of Haitian hookers or something called a ‘donkey show’. My brain is mush and I’m too tired to really think about it too much. I’ve been up about 40 hours with a two hour nap thrown in. This was a long post for a long day.

Stay tuned. I’m sure more hilarity will ensue after I’ve had some sleep.


On our way…almost

The countdown is underway. In preparation for our departure, Julia and I met for a pedicure after work last night, to get buffed, scrubbed and generally get our shine on. I want you to look at the size of the callous scraper they had to use on her. I’ve seen cheese graters that are smaller. You might want to think about getting a pedicure more than once a year girlfriend. Of course, that would require slowing down for an hour every few weeks. I have a friend from Arlington that sometimes puts satin sheets on the bed and swears that the callouses on her heels is all that keeps her from sliding out of bed during the night.

We leave for the Dallas area this afternoon where we will meet up at Kirk and Julie’s house in Keller to spend the night, or what will pass for the ‘night’ in this case. Our flight leaves from DFW at 5:45 a.m. in the morning. Since it’s an international flight we have to be there at least two hours early, plus there’s a 30 minute drive and we have to drop the cars at long term parking and catch the shuttle to the airport. If you are counting backwards you’ll agree that realistically I’m going to have to get up at about 1:45 a.m. My first thought is what brainiac thought this early morning flight would be a good idea? The second is why even go to bed? I seem to remember thinking six months ago, when we were booking our tickets, that the early morning flight would be no big deal. It seems like a bigger deal right now, but at least we won’t have to spend the night in San Juan like we did last year. We will have the promise of pretty rum drinks running through our heads to keep us going throughout the day tomorrow.

The photo above is an acutal picture of one of the verandas at the house where we are staying. It is a beautiful place called Frenchman’s Lookout and is located on the island of Tortola. Julia did us proud finding the perfect place once again. If you get a chance, check out the website



I usually try to stay with the humorous when I write but this post is a little different. I’m not writing about a funny occurrence but rather about a person, and while she is funny and makes me laugh almost every day, what I want to say is more heartfelt than silly. My youngest daughter, Whitney, graduates from Midwestern State University with her Masters of Education in Special Education and Dyslexia on May 14th. This is no small feat.

Many people will graduate that day and every one of them should be proud of such an accomplishment. I’m her mother and so by definition biased, but I think Whitney deserves a special pat on the back because of the many obstacles she has had to overcome in order to reach this moment. While working on her Masters degree, she suffered a miscarriage as well as a successful pregnancy where she had gestational diabetes and severe gall bladder attacks. She had a c-section when her daughter Preslee was born, and two weeks later found herself in the hospital with a serious case of pancreatitis, which resulted in a second surgery to remove her gall bladder. For the last year and a half she can add caring for an infant and chasing after a toddler to her list of activities. She also worked a full time teaching position and still packed an overnight/diaper bag and drove 45 miles two nights a week to attend classes, spending the night at her Grandmother’s house because it was too late to drive home with a baby.

At this point, I should probably also brag on my Mother a little. Some of you may know that I am only in Wichita Falls every other week and spend alternate weeks with my fiance in Midland. My Mother stepped into the void I should have been filling and outfitted a nursery at her house so that Whitney could attend evening classes. She fed them both and provided babysitting services while Whitney was in class. I can tell you from experience that running after Preslee can be exhausting so she deserves a big thank you for stepping in to help make Whitney’s dream a reality.

Even with all the trials and pressures of graduate school, Whitney was always a great daughter and granddaughter and an even better mother and wife…and still, she’s graduating with a 4.0 gpa. It would have been easy to give up, but she stayed the course and did it all with grace and humor and I am so proud of her right now I could just crow…which I guess in a way is what I’m doing now. Way to go, Whit! I love you, baby girl.

Now to my older daughter, Courtney, let me just say, I'm sorry you didn't get this sort of public fanfare when you graduated a few years ago with your doctorate as a pharmacist. It does not mean that Whitney is my favorite…no it does not! In my defense, I didn't even know what a blog was back then. If I had, I would have expounded on your impressive accomplishments too, because I am equally proud of you and what a fine young woman you've become. It just tickles me to death to have you for my daughter. It's just the luck of the draw that technology made this brag post possible for Whitney and not for you. Consider yourself bragged on too.


Too much?

Do you think 10 pairs of shorts, 2 pair of capris, 1 sundress, 15 shirts, 7 pair of shoes and 3 bathing suits are too much for a week long trip? That doesn’t even include the makeup and blowdryers and hair products and electronics (iPhone, iPod, iPad, and camera). I need a carry-on just for the chargers to keep all that stuff going.

I have been ironing and packing most of the day. Sure I took out a little time to visit with my two precious granddaughters on Easter, but the rest of the day has been mentally grueling trying to decide what to take and what not to take on our trip to the BVI. I always come under (just barely), the 50 pound weight limit for luggage, unlike those who shall not remain nameless…Gina. She must find packing incredibly stressful. I have never been on a trip with her that didn’t require opening her suitcase on the terminal floor to ‘redistribute’ some of the weight, however, if you ever find yourself in a situation like Gillian’s Island, trust me, you’ll want Gina along.

I always end up packing way too much and lug home half a suitcase of untouched stuff along with all the stuff I bought while gone. It’s crazy. I find myself thinking why did I bring all this stuff? Because, a) it was too cute to leave home, b) I bought it specifically for this trip, so no way I’m leaving it behind, c) I could get hot and sweaty and two clean changes of underwear per day might be welcome, or d), which to my way of thinking is the most prevalent, you just never know. Will and Kate might be honeymooning on the islands and we might get invited to a soiree where I might need those snappy rhinestone slingbacks…you just never know. I might get a stomach virus and loose those last ten pounds, making that two piece swimsuit a viable option…you just never know. That is my new packing motto! You just never know.

One last thing, while we are discussing ‘too much’. One of the really nice services the place we’re staying offers is stocking the pantry for us. They sent us a 50 page grocery list, we ordered what we wanted and it will be waiting for us when we get there. How great is that? Who wants to go grocery shopping on their vacation? Anyway, bottled water was not on the list so we wrote it in. Julia called me yesterday to let me know that four cases of bottled water was $89. I know you’re thinking “no way”, but “way.” And yes, it’s the same stuff we pay $3.95 a case for at Sam’s. Location, location, location. Anyway, Julia called laughing when she got the bill because it turns out that the water was more expensive than the Red Stripe beer we ordered. I can already hear the guys telling us they are drinking beer to “save money”…like they need an excuse.

59 hours!


It’s a small world after all!

The more I think about this, the more it blows my mind…short trip. The couple from Midland that was part of our BVI group last year, Dave and Judy, couldn’t make it this time (sucks to be you), which left an opening that Eddie and Denise snapped up. Smart people, the Holcombs. Guess we’ll have to look for a six bedroom house next year.

Anyway, when we got together with them for the first time last month for our planning party, Eddie and Joe sort of recognized each other, and how weird is this, they were in the same class in high school and went to Rider together. That discovery prompted Eddie to scour his 1975 yearbook and find these pictures. Now who wouldn’t love these two young bucks?

Kirk’s comment on seeing these was, and I quote: “Couple of handsome individuals there…but what the hell happened?” Life and 36 years is what happened! Of course, who among us could compare physically to ourselves at 18? You might not be able to bounce a quarter off my ass these days, but I wasn’t spending my vacations in a villa in the British Virgin Islands either. All-in-all, I’d take my man, my friends, my family and my life these days anytime!

105 hours to takeoff!